Understanding causes and treatments of TMD in and around Brookswood and Langley, BC
In medical terminology it is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. In common language it is the jaw joint, that point of flexibility that allows us to speak, laugh, and chew our food. It is an incredibly strong yet delicate structure, capable of exerting immense force and precision movements. Like a sophisticated machine, even a slight defect or misalignment can have far-reaching effects. There are many potential causes for temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD or TMJD), and the symptoms can range from dizziness to pain. Brookswood and Langley, BC patients can count on Dr. Harpreet Aulakh of Smile365 Dental to deliver minimally invasive, highly customized, effective treatments for TMD.
Could it be TMD?
You would expect a dysfunction of the TMJ to cause jaw pain. That is certainly one possible symptom of TMD, but there are many others. Some might surprise you.
Common TMD symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Clicking, grinding, or popping sound when you move your jaw
- Limited jaw movement
- Facial pain, especially in the jaw area
- Frequent migraines or other severe headaches
- Pain in the shoulders or neck
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
What causes TMD?
Dysfunction of the jaw (temporomandibular) joint is a broad definition. There are many potential causes, including physical deformity, injury, or a degenerative condition such as arthritis. However, one of the most common causes is a seemingly simple unconscious “habit.” That is clenching or grinding your teeth, known as bruxism, which causes excess strain on the jaw joint. It might occur during the day, especially in times of stress. Or it might happen during sleep, and you might not even know it.
Exploring treatment options
Because every case of TMD is very different, the first essential step is ascertaining an accurate diagnosis. If your symptoms are associated with joint disease or injury, the underlying cause needs to be addressed. For people with TMD symptoms that are caused or aggravated by nighttime bruxism, an oral appliance can often bring relief. These appliances, often called mouthguards, support optimal jaw positioning and relaxation during sleep. They are thin, lightweight, and comfortable to wear.
If you have symptoms of TMD are live near Brookswood and Langley, BC, please call us at (604) 409-8660 to schedule an evaluation.